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What is a one-pot meth lab?

By Laura Halm
Published On: Jul 12 2013 04:38:23 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 04:36:36 PM CDT

Investigators say although major meth labs are a thing of the past, operations are now becoming more mobile. The dangerous drug is now being found inside of plastic bottles, but do you know what a one-pot meth lab looks like?

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. -

The method in which meth is made is changing -- investigators say major meth labs are a thing of the past.

However, they say operations are now becoming mobile. The dangerous drug is now being found inside of plastic bottles.

But how do you know what a one-pot meth lab looks like? We caught up with law enforcement to find out more on how dangerous this drug can be if you don't know what you're handling.

It's quick, easy, and dangerous; the scary thing is there's essentially just a thin layer of plastic between these chemicals and an explosion.

"Amber" is serving time at the Sullivan County Jail; she didn't want to give her full name or show her face because of safety reasons. She says for nearly three months she experimented with making meth by the one-pot method. "I've had three fires. The last fire I got burnt," said Amber.

Officials say they almost exclusively discover meth labs cooked by the one-pot method, but what exactly is a one-pot-meth-lab? "Basically it's just a bottle filled with chemicals, it's used to make meth. Some people use Powerade bottles, Gatorade bottles or any type of soda bottle," said Leslie Earhart with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

We learned, sadly, you can find these bottles anywhere: front yards, ditches, even in the car parked next to you.

Officials say the one-pot meth labs are extremely dangerous because the chemicals could explode at any moment. "If you come across a Gatorade bottle and it has a white residue inside of it that could potentially be a bottle that was used to make meth, so that's one sign. Also a strong chemical odor," added Earhart.

Investigators warn to never handle these bottles because the chemicals could burn your skin and should be treated like a bomb. They say to always call police before you pick one up.

For Amber, she has a scar on her ankle from the last time she says she made meth. "It's a reminder of the experience and this is something I don't want to do again," she told us.

Another interesting fact -- when meth is discovered inside a room or home it's quarantined for some time. That's because the chemicals can seep into the walls and still be very dangerous.

Crews with the meth task force first have to come in to clean, and then the area must be tested by a professional before it's deemed safe.